By: Grant Polachek
A strong brand name is the cornerstone of any business. When launching a new business, a strong name can help you attract and connect with customers. It can lead to buzz, increase recall, and encourage referrals, as a name that is hard to say, spell, or remember is also hard to share. A great business name helps you across many key communication and marketing goals. Moreover, a superior name serves as the foundation of your brand and can have exponential effects throughout the lifetime of your business.
With a great name for a cosmetic business, its popularity will increase rapidly and easily across social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram as well as magazines and billboards with more and more people testing out the products. And no one wants to be the business that causes this awkward situation:
“Wow, that’s a nice jacket! Where did you get it?”
“Thanks, I was just checking out a new store in the mall and found this. They have really nice designs with affordable pricing. It’s called the… oh no, sorry, I forgot the name.”
With this in mind, follow these guidelines to develop your owner amazing business name ideas and find a great name that will help you succeed:
Formulate Core Concepts
You are launching a new venture, and you’re struggling to find the right name. The first step is to hone the creative process. Start by thinking about the brand that you’re trying to build, and determine some core concepts essential to the success of your business.
Ask yourself, What do I want people to know about my business immediately?
Here are some common answers:
- It is High-end
- It is Modern
- It is Unique
- It is Fun
Rejuviate, a winning name from one of the many Squadhelp Brand Naming Contests, is a simple, catchy name which instantly suggests the product’s function, that is rejuvenating the skin as an anti-aging skin care line. The name itself serves to attract customers who want to maintain healthy, youthful skin.
Prepare Project Statements
Now that you’ve decided on a central direction, create a one or two sentence project statement to keep your naming efforts laser focused. Here are some examples:
- We need an expressive name that carries the essence of freshness and revitalization in our skin cleansing products.
- We need a fun, humorous name for a burger joint which has a warm, friendly, lively atmosphere.
- We need an impressive name for a high-end designer clothing store with exquisite, luxurious outfits and accessories.
- We need a descriptive name for our wedding planning business that will highlight the lavish and extravagant weddings we plan to execute.
A lot of people dive into their naming project head first without taking the appropriate time to set the stage for success, hoping that “creativity” and “inspiration” will swoop in and provide an amazing outcome. After 15,000 naming projects, developing business names within nearly every vertical imaginable, we believe strongly in a more systemic and strategic approach.
Here is an example of a pleasant maternity fashion brand name which allows it to stand out to attract the target market which is pregnant women. The project statement that resulted in the brand name probably read something like this: We want a name that will appeal to pregnant women who want to look great and fashionable during the special period of pregnancy.
Think Of Name Ideas
Now it’s time to put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard … stylus to tablet). However you like to work, it’s time to brainstorm ideas.
Don’t censor yourself when brainstorming – There is no wrong answer when brainstorming. Just let the ideas flow. Sometimes a “bad” ideas will inspire a “great” ideas. When you’re developing name ideas, one thought leads to the next, and censoring your ideas will stop this amazing creative flow. And don’t forget to have fun.
Develop an Inspiration Deck – You can find inspiration for your business name ideas in so many places. Take a drive around town writing down your favorite names that you find, get a list of successful brands across any industry you can imagine using your go-to search engine, or explore winning brand names ideas from crowdsourced branding contests. Building a list of inspiration is a well respected copywriting technique, and it will certainly help you develop great business name ideas as well.
When searching through business name ideas, you might be surprised and inspired by an outside the box approach like Wild Mint, a nail salon and café. This creative name is very eye catching as well as intriguing- hence successfully attracting customers.
Follow Naming Criteria
From a technical naming standpoint there are some important principles that you want to keep in mind:
Is it easy to say? Unfortunately, you may have to pass on a meaningful name if it’s difficult to say.
Is it easy to hear? Try this thought experiment. If you’re standing in loud bar and told someone your name, would they be able to understand you?
Is it easy to spell? Simple misspellings such as Lyft, Flickr, Xero can work really well for a brand. But names that are very hard to spell will hinder your marketing and communication efforts.
Is it appealing? Is your name pleasant to see and hear? Many times, in a quest to be unique or edgy, companies will select a name that lacks appeal with the target market. Consumers should like how your name looks and sounds. If they do, it’s much more likely that they’ll want to learn more about your business and talk to friends about your brand.
Also remember to avoid –
Neutral names: Is your name too safe or too boring? While you don’t want to choose an obscure or difficult name, you also don’t want to overcorrect and select a name that simply doesn’t excite consumers. A dull name means that you won’t stand out in a sea of competitors, putting you at a disadvantage from the start.
Visualize Your Ideas
A great business name will always be less appealing than your competition’s mediocre brand. It’s very hard to look at a list of names and get excited about them. One, two, or three words on a page can often feel flat.
The ability to bring a name to life in your mind is critical to the naming process. Imagine the story. Visualize the logo. See it on your products and packaging. Without envisioning your brand, you’ll have trouble getting behind any of the business name ideas that you’ve generated.
Carry Out Validation Tasks
Developing business name ideas is only the beginning of the process. You’ll also want to validate your business name, before making your final decision:
Once you’ve decided on a few name ideas, you’ll want to get unbiased feedback. It’s great that you and your team are excited about your business name ideas, but general audience approval is an encouraging way to know that you’ve found a name that will truly help you succeed. Positive feedback via audience testing can indicate that your name resonates well and properly aligns with your target audience. While objectively there are no “perfect” names, vetting your shortlist of business name ideas against each other with an unbiased group will provide you valuable information that will help you make a final decision with confidence. Learn the three additional critical validation steps – discover how to pick a business name.
Though you may be eager to begin marketing and operating your business, taking the time to ideate an effective name is an important component of developing your brand’s image. By using these straightforward tips, you will have a much easier time coming up with a name that is capable of helping you succeed!